Offaly relegated to the Christy Ring Cup for 2020

Back-to-back championship relegations is the realisation of every worst nightmare

Kerry’s Bryan Murphy in action with Shane Dooley of Offaly. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Kerry’s Bryan Murphy in action with Shane Dooley of Offaly. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

 

Offaly will be playing hurling in the third tier of the championship in the 2020 season, after losing their final McDonagh Cup match to Kerry on Saturday.

Despite losing their first three matches of the competition, Kerry’s defeat to Laois last weekend meant that a win over the Kingdom would leave the two counties tied on two points. And in that situation the Faithful county would have survived on a head to head advantage.

Instead thought they suffered what was a ninth straight championship loss. Last summer they dropped down to the McDonagh Cup after losing all four of their Leinster hurling championship round-robin matches - to Galway, Kilkenny, Wexford and Dublin. Next summer they will be facing London, Roscommon, Wicklow and Kildare.

It’s been a nightmare 2019 for Offaly, a county who have won four All-Ireland hurling championships, they were also beaten by a point by Carlow in the Division One league relegation playoff. That defeat in Tullamore, back in March, means that next year they will play in Division Two of the restructured league. There they’ll again face Kerry, as well as Antrim, Mayo, Wicklow and Meath.

Offaly manager Joachim Kelly during his team’s McDonagh Cup clash with Kerry. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho
Offaly manager Joachim Kelly during his team’s McDonagh Cup clash with Kerry. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

On Saturday, Offaly played the first half with the wind at their backs and led 0-4 to no score, but lost Peter Geraghty to a red card for a striking offence. They trailed at the interval by four points, with Kerry scoring a goal via Pádraig Boyle.

Shane Dooley punished a mistake in the Kerry defence and made it a one-point game with a goal of his own after the change of ends, but backed by the elements it was Kerry who kicked on from there. The final score in Austin Stack park, Tralee was Kerry 1-18 Offaly 1-16.

Meanwhile, Westmeath and Laois drew 1-22 apiece, and they will meet again in the McDonagh Cup final in two weeks. Both teams will also contest the All-Ireland preliminary quarter-finals against the third-placed teams in the provincial round-robins, and the McDonagh Cup winner will replace Carlow in next year’s 2020 Leinster championship.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.